This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
  • QuirkyJules Jan 8, 3:34 p.m.

    The story reports he was doing his walk-around, which means it was likely at least 30-45 minutes before the plane would have been pushed back from the gate. His blood alcohol was 0.04% when tested and anything below 0.04% would have been legal. In other words, by the time he was actually flying, he wouldn't have been outside the legal limit. This does not make it okay, and could have been illegal still for other reasons and certainly showed poor judgement, but if you see a stumbling drunk in your mind's eye when you read this story, you should reassess what you read and believe without thinking.

  • btneast Jan 7, 1:37 p.m.

    and came to the airport without eating any breakfast

    Yep, getting some food into your stomach makes a huge difference in BAC.

  • Commentor113 Jan 7, 12:35 p.m.

    It's pretty easy to blow a .04. My guess is he had one too many the night before, probably woke up with a bit of a hangover and came to the airport without eating any breakfast.I doubt he was drinking at 6 a.m. like some have suggested.

    It's still unprofessional and certainly not the kind of behavior we want from the people piloting our planes. But, it's also something the majority of workers have done at one time or another also. Probably even some doctors.

  • ConservativeVoter Jan 7, 12:08 p.m.

    This should be a requirement for pilots for all flights.

    Too many times, I've seen pilots sitting in the bar in the airport.

    Makes you wonder.

  • Uhavenoclu Jan 7, 9:36 a.m.

    Just put it on auto pilot...Many cargo flights especially going overseas have a small part behind the cockpit where the pilots go in and sleep...Yes even sleep during the commercial flights,especially the flight attendants...unless like some you are lucky eniugh to join their club.

  • piene2 Jan 7, 9:03 a.m.

    "Guess things are different now, when my father, an alcoholic was flying B25's at the age of 19 and got his tail shotoff more than once, over the Pacific in WWII he said they never knew when they got called to fly. Get up and go no matter what shape your in was the story he told me, thats only when I could get him to talk about it. He got a DWI once and I guess he should have been out there on the Chaingang in a pink suit.
    bubbba

    "During world War One, early open cocpit (forced by censor to misspell) aircraft engines were lubricated with caster oil the fumes of which had a strong laxative effect on the pilots. They were told to load up on blackberry brandy before taking off to "stun the bowels."

  • btneast Jan 7, 8:19 a.m.

    No you cannot do anything more than create an estimate. The idea that blood alcohol can be accurately measured with the breath sounds reasonable but if it truly was accurate then there would be no need for the required blood or urine tests. You are assuming

    No, it is based on reams of scientific data. Breathalyzers were challenged when they came out years ago, and have proven to the courts that they are accurate enough. Blood testing is more precise, but it is rarely far off from a breathalyzer, assuming it is calibrated....which operators are required to do frequently.

  • Big Mike Jan 4, 7:53 p.m.

    Makes you wonder just how many pilots are flying that haven't been detected...and by the way..hope you enjoyed the barrel roll from last months flight to...........

  • anne53ozzy Jan 4, 7:45 p.m.

    Interesting yet again there has to be a "birther" issue here when it is not important.

  • dwr1964 Jan 4, 7:42 p.m.

    Scandinavian I'd think...Most citizens in Minneapolis/St.Paul have Swedish, Norweign, Danish heritages..but regardless...he shouldn't have shown up crocked to fly a plane......Big Mike

    Did you even attempt to read the part about him being from RALEIGH???? Geesh. Some people huh?

  • beaupeep Jan 4, 7:16 p.m.

    If I was in Minnesota in January, I'd probably need a shot just to get out of bed.

  • Big Mike Jan 4, 7:09 p.m.

    Scandinavian I'd think...Most citizens in Minneapolis/St.Paul have Swedish, Norweign, Danish heritages..but regardless...he shouldn't have shown up crocked to fly a plane...

  • OzzzMan Jan 4, 7:09 p.m.

    Why is this the leading story on all of the news stations? The news was at the front door of his house. Come on man!

  • monami Jan 4, 6:49 p.m.

    It doesn't seem right that a WRAL reporter is standing in front of the guy's house waiting to ambush a resident...

    Let the system do its thing and leave the family alone.

  • JJ20 Jan 4, 6:44 p.m.

    "What nationality is this guy? From the name, I'm wondering if he is even a legal citizen?"

    Does this really need to happen every time a person that doesn't have a common name is in the news?

  • donnied19522 Jan 4, 6:32 p.m.

    What nationality is this guy? From the name, I'm wondering if he is even a legal citizen?

  • cocker_mom Jan 4, 6:24 p.m.

    correct - it's an estimation based on science and tons of data and how the body "works". A true BAC requires a blood test, but the breathalyzer provides a reasonable approximation based on the amount of alcohol he's expelling out his lungs (that came from his bloodstream), as well as enough of a hint that he should not be flying.

  • Made In USA Jan 4, 6:11 p.m.

    So the BAC is .04% for commercial pilots? I think it shout be .00%. Hundreds of people's lives are worthy of that.

  • seankelly15 Jan 4, 6:06 p.m.

    cocker_mom - "you know there's an exchange of blood gases / oxygen between blood and your lungs right? Kinda how you take oxygen in and you release carbon dioxide? Well - it's that process that you can determine BAC using breath...."

    No you cannot do anything more than create an estimate. The idea that blood alcohol can be accurately measured with the breath sounds reasonable but if it truly was accurate then there would be no need for the required blood or urine tests. You are assuming

  • homefree Jan 4, 6:03 p.m.

    I know this will not be a popular statement...but we make to much of a big deal about all things alcohol. It seems to be the excuse for everything related to alcohol. I've flown with several pilots that had a few beers and I would trust them with my life. We need to get away from all the overhyped pressure from personal interest groups and start making some common sense judgement about BAC readings. Anyone that understands BAC know that a .04 is very different for some people than others. I'm not saying this guy did anything right but the first story of the night...I just don't think it's that big of a deal for me.

  • seankelly15 Jan 4, 6:00 p.m.

    keeprightexcepttopass - "Haven't you seen folks "blowing" into little gadgets the police carry? I work in a prison and we even have a device that is so sensitive all the inmates have to do is say their name with the device near their mouth and it can register a level."

    Yes... it can tell you if there is alcohol in their system but it is only an estimate of the concentration and subject to error. This is the reason why the guy was taken to a hospital to get a blood test.

  • fayncmike Jan 4, 5:45 p.m.

    When I was sky diving our jump pilot was usually at least half in the bag. I always chose to be first out which meant I was sitting next to the door. I figured at the first sign of trouble I could try for a bailout, hopefully with some altitude under us.

  • fayncmike Jan 4, 5:40 p.m.

    "Poor critical thinking skill by the dude..too bad..good thing he was caught!!!
    rushbot"

    I am surprised that none of our posters haven't come up with the favorite line arpund here for all miscreants, "His parents should have been more responsible."

  • bubbba Jan 4, 5:31 p.m.

    When I was flying the B52 D and H model, several decades ago, defending your way of life against all enemies, foreign and domestic, the rule everyone knew was "12 hours between bottle and throttle"..I don't recall the exact working, but I think we were supposed to get at least 10 hours, and 8 of those hours were for sleep only..and since for us, crew rest ended when we showed for the crew bus 2.5 hours prior to kickin the tires, lightin the fires and slippin the surlies!!! And I promise you, we would have dimed anyone who showed up drunk...

    Guess things are different now, when my father, an alcoholic was flying B25's at the age of 19 and got his tail shotoff more than once, over the Pacific in WWII he said they never knew when they got called to fly. Get up and go no matter what shape your in was the story he told me, thats only when I could get him to talk about it. He got a DWI once and I guess he should have been out there on the Chaingang in a pink suit.

  • rushbot Jan 4, 5:04 p.m.

    When I was flying the B52 D and H model, several decades ago, defending your way of life against all enemies, foreign and domestic, the rule everyone knew was "12 hours between bottle and throttle"..I don't recall the exact working, but I think we were supposed to get at least 10 hours, and 8 of those hours were for sleep only..and since for us, crew rest ended when we showed for the crew bus 2.5 hours prior to kickin the tires, lightin the fires and slippin the surlies!!! And I promise you, we would have dimed anyone who showed up drunk...

  • LOC Jan 4, 4:56 p.m.

    crazy!

  • djofraleigh Jan 4, 4:55 p.m.

    good thing he was caught, for we all know alcoholics drink no matter what...

  • bubbba Jan 4, 4:53 p.m.

    George W Bush, Wyonna Jude, Randy Travis, etc. all should be on side of road in jumpsuits? You were here yesterday....

  • bubbba Jan 4, 4:48 p.m.

    It should be 0.0...ZERO TOLERANCE. You shouldn't drink on the job, period. But when other souls are in your hands you have no excuses.
    UNCFarva
    January 4, 2013 3:22 p.m

    You know pilots take catnaps all the time on long flights.

  • bubbba Jan 4, 4:45 p.m.

    The chaingang folks out there? San Donaldson, Senator Kropo too.

  • question_why Jan 4, 4:43 p.m.

    I hope his BAC was residual from the night before...either way, very irresponisble.

  • rushbot Jan 4, 4:43 p.m.

    Actually, the FAA does on a random basis show up and climb aboard the jump seat..but apparently too random by far..Shall we all write our congress persons and insist that they increase funding for the FAA?

  • Bartmeister Jan 4, 4:40 p.m.

    Must have been a hard night before.

  • rushbot Jan 4, 4:33 p.m.

    from "Airplane", one of the five best comedies ever.."I guess I picked the wrong week to give up...)!!!

  • mrsox05 Jan 4, 4:31 p.m.

    In reality, I bet a lot of them fly drunk all the time.. drunk by what the legal limit is for them anyway. All airports have a bar and lots of nice hotels. Some of them sleep in hotels a lot and get right up and fly at the crack of dawn the next morning with alcohol still in their blood. Go see the movie Flight with Denzel. Made me think about some things!!!

  • saturn5 Jan 4, 4:31 p.m.

    seankelly15: "What is a "blood alcohol breath test"? How do you determine "blood alcohol" from someone's breath?"

    It's a breathylizer. The same thing the police use for DWI checks.

  • vance203 Jan 4, 4:27 p.m.

    Wow...even at 6:30AM, it's 5:00 somewhere! I wonder if he was still drunk from the night before or if he took a few swigs of the hard stuff before getting to the airport.

  • pappybigtuna1 Jan 4, 4:24 p.m.

    Have you flown lately, everyone needs a belt before boarding a plane

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 4, 4:22 p.m.

    The pilot was conducting preflight checks about 6:30 a.m. when airport police officers acting on a tip boarded the aircraft,

    WHAT? happy hour does not start at 6:00am?

  • The Anti Hans Jan 4, 4:21 p.m.

    Dwight Schrute is a pilot now?

  • exador7 Jan 4, 4:21 p.m.

    What is it with these guys..

  • Rebelyell Jan 4, 4:20 p.m.

    I'll guess there are 50 pilots that wanted that job that don't drink. Too bad they don't random check these guys, instead of relying on a snitch--alcohol testing should be done regularly.

  • rushbot Jan 4, 4:17 p.m.

    Poor critical thinking skill by the dude..too bad..good thing he was caught!!!

  • cocker_mom Jan 4, 4:07 p.m.

    seankelly - you know there's an exchange of blood gases / oxygen between blood and your lungs right? Kinda how you take oxygen in and you release carbon dioxide? Well - it's that process that you can determine BAC using breath....

  • valleyGirl Jan 4, 4:07 p.m.

    ough ohhh, that airport in Minneapolis has dethroned more than one wayward character. That over-friendly senator from was Utah?

  • North Carolina Cutie Jan 4, 4:06 p.m.

    Do not drink and fly.

  • mattatiww Jan 4, 4:03 p.m.

    seankelly15

    The ethanol escapes the body through the lungs just as carbon dioxide does.

  • ccandrews01 Jan 4, 4:03 p.m.

    Zero tolerance for truck drivers. Why not for pilots?
    Rusty Cat

  • keeprightexcepttopass Jan 4, 3:57 p.m.

    What is a "blood alcohol breath test"? How do you determine "blood alcohol" from someone's breath?
    seankelly15

    Haven't you seen folks "blowing" into little gadgets the police carry? I work in a prison and we even have a device that is so sensitive all the inmates have to do is say their name with the device near their mouth and it can register a level.

  • Banned4Life Jan 4, 3:53 p.m.

    Howdy-doo. Thish ish your pilot, Roger Oveur. Have you ever washed any gladiator moovies?

Oldest First